Coca-Cola is investing more funds in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania as it seeks to diversify its business to caffeinated products and fresh juices in Africa, while offsetting the slowing growth of soda sales in other markets.
The Coca-Cola company and its African bottling partners announced a new investment of US$5 billion during the just concluded US-Africa Leaders’ Summit. The investment is to be made over the next six years, increasing its total announced investments in Africa to US$17 billion from 2010 to 2020.
Part of the funds will be used to boost tea production in Kenya, in collaboration with Finlay Tea Solutions. “The company is working to increase uptake of tea production from its existing supply base as well as explore development of new supply bases in the region,” said Peter Njonjo general manager Coca-Cola East Africa.
Coca Cola has also signed a letter of intent to launch Source Africa — an initiative to source ingredients for its products from the continent in partnership with the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and Grow Africa. The initiative will focus on sustainable mango and tea production in Kenya; citrus, mango and pineapple production in Nigeria; and mango production in Malawi before expanding to Ethiopia, Senegal, Tanzania and Mozambique.
Coca-Cola faces stiff competition from carbonated drinks producers like Pepsi; brewers like East African Breweries Ltd with its Alvaro brand; Harris International Ltd and Sai Beverages Ltd (SBL) in Uganda; Bakhresa Group in Tanzania; and Crystal Beverages Ltd in Rwanda and South Sudan.